The Elouise Cobell Land and Culture Institute facilities are specifically designed to increase the engagement between indigenous peoples across miles and cultures. The Land and Culture Laboratory is equipped with GIS mapping technology that will help train students to track spatially related historical, social, and cultural issues. Utilizing the long distance video communication capabilities of the Classroom/Conference Space, students and faculty are able to participate in cultural and educational events from indigenous communities from all over the world. The audio/visual editing and file sharing capabilities of the Multi-Screen Theater Room give students the opportunity to exchange ideas with institutions from tribal communities, while the NASA-grade technology of the Star-Gazing Round Room’s planetarium immerses viewers in an interactive display of the environment and sky. With all of these tools, students and researchers can work with community partners to conduct projects of value and to solve the real-world problems facing society today.
Classroom and lab use in the Cobell Center (all classrooms and labs in garden level) are assigned by the Registrar’s office with first priority usage to Native American Studies courses needing the spaces and equipment as assigned by the NAS department, second priority use to courses with significant Native American content needing the equipment, and third priority to other courses needing the equipment. Use of the equipment by tribal communities is also an important function of the space. However, courses scheduled for the semester will not be displaced unless alternative arrangements can be made. The NAS administrative assistant will work with the CHS dean’s office to schedule these various uses.